Iris Steinley serves Mike Linton a hotdog during the 60th Anniversary community barbecue, hosted Friday by Red Deer’s St. John Ambulance chapter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

More medical first responders needed when Red Deer hosts Canada Winter Games

St. John Ambulance needs volunteers to help spectators in crisis

St. John Ambulance is celebrating 60 years in Red Deer by preparing to respond to the emergency needs of thousands of spectators during the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

“We’re looking for more volunteers,” said Pamela Doucette, community services co-ordinator for Red Deer’s St. John Ambulance chapter. She hopes to sign up 20 more first responders who can assist if there are emergencies in the stands after the Games start on Feb. 15.

When sports fans from across Canada arrive in Red Deer, there’s always a chance someone could have a heart attack, diabetic reaction, or fall, said Doucette. She noted the athletes will have their own medical specialists, but a team of local first responders needs to be readied to assist spectators-in-need before paramedics arrive.

Anyone interested in becoming a first responder needs to clear a criminal background check and to complete a free course through St. John Ambulance that takes about 80 hours.

While that’s a significant time commitment, it could save lives: Doucette noted volunteers from her group are always on hand in case of an emergency at local pancake breakfasts, fundraising walks and runs, dances and the Westerner Days parade.

The local organization celebrated its 60th year in Red Deer on Friday with a community barbecue that attracted a lot of neighbours along 67th Street.

Kim Laing, vice-president of public relations and business development for the St. John Alberta Council, said the non-profit contributes about $16-million worth of volunteer services annually. The Red Deer chapter, with about 50 members, makes up about a fifth of that amount.

The group traces its origins back a thousand years, to the Crusades, when Benedictine monks treated injured soldiers on the battlefield.

Laing said first-aid skills haven’t changes significantly since St. John Ambulance was established in Canada in 1884 — but access to technological equipment and training have improved vastly.

St. John programs have also grown: They now include a safety course for babysitters, a program for therapy dogs that help those in emotional trauma, and information sessions on properly installing infant and child car seats.

For more information, please visit stjohn.ab.ca.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

RCMP investigate incident in Innisfail

RCMP are still investigating a serious incident that happened at a downtown… Continue reading

Disappearance of woman, toddler treated as potential homicides: Calgary police

Calgary police say they are treating the disappearance of a woman and… Continue reading

Several Red Deer businesses’ phone/fax lines taken over by ‘spoofers’

Same ‘prank’ calls were made as happened with RedCliff RCMP

Uber looks to raise up to $9B in initial public offering

NEW YORK — Uber is planning to sell 180 million shares for… Continue reading

Imperial Oil reports first-quarter profit down from year ago, raises dividend

CALGARY — Imperial Oil Ltd. raised its dividend nearly 16 per cent… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps voice concerns about MLS travel woes

VANCOUVER — Concerns are being raised about how Major League Soccer handles… Continue reading

Canada looks to defend para-hockey title at world championship in Czech Republic

Canada forward Dominic Cozzolino keeps his 2018 Paralympic silver medal tucked away… Continue reading

John Singleton of ‘Boys N the Hood’ in coma after stroke

LOS ANGELES — “Boyz N the Hood” director John Singleton is in… Continue reading

400-year-old Bible stolen from US is found in Netherlands

PITTSBURGH — A 400-year-old Bible stolen from a Pittsburgh library has been… Continue reading

Opinion: Schools can’t be exempt from scrutiny

This weekend’s meeting of the Alberta School Councils’ Association promises to be… Continue reading

Local Sports: Clayton Pottinger reaching for new heights

There are times in anyone’s life when they make a decision that… Continue reading

Seniors: Smarter living for older adults

One of the major life transitions characteristic of aging is leaving one’s… Continue reading

Most Read